The album’s cover images were photographed by Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell, Storm’s partner at the Pink Floyd design studio Hipgnosis and was inspired by the idea that people tend to conceal their true feelings, for fear of «getting burned», and thus two businessmen were pictured shaking hands, one man on fire. «Getting burned» was also a common phrase in the music industry, used often by artists denied royalty payments. Two stuntmen were used (Ronnie Rondell and Danny Rogers), one dressed in a fire-retardant suit covered by a business suit. His head was protected by a hood, underneath a wig. The photograph was taken at the Warner Bros. studios in Los Angeles. Initially the wind was blowing in the wrong direction, and the flames were forced into Rondell’s face, burning his moustache. The two stuntmen changed positions, and the image was later reversed.
Wish You Were Here is the ninth studio album by the English rock band Pink Floyd, released on 12 September 1975 through Harvest Records and Columbia Records, their first release for the latter. Based on material Pink Floyd composed while performing in Europe, Wish You Were Here was recorded over numerous sessions throughout 1975 at Abbey Road Studios in London.
The album’s themes include criticism of the music business, alienation, and a tribute to founding member Syd Barrett, who left seven years earlier with deteriorating mental health. Like their previous record, The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Pink Floyd used studio effects and synthesisers. Guest singers included Roy Harper, who provided the lead vocals on “Have a Cigar”, and Venetta Fields, who added backing vocals to “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”. To promote the album, the band released the double A-side single “Have a Cigar” / “Welcome to the Machine”.
On its release, Wish You Were Here received mixed reviews from critics, who found its music uninspiring and inferior to their previous work. It has retrospectively received critical acclaim, hailed as one of the greatest albums of all time, and was cited by keyboardist Richard Wright and guitarist David Gilmour as their favourite Pink Floyd album. It reached number one in the US and UK, and Harvest’s parent company, EMI, was unable to keep up with the demand. Since then, the record has sold over 20 million copies.
Pink Floyd were an English rock band formed in London in 1964. Gaining an early following as one of the first British psychedelic groups, they were distinguished for their extended compositions, sonic experimentation, philosophical lyrics and elaborate live shows. They became a leading band of the progressive rock genre, cited by some as the greatest progressive rock band of all time.
Pink Floyd were founded in 1964 by Syd Barrett (guitar, lead vocals), Nick Mason (drums), Roger Waters (bass guitar, vocals), Richard Wright (keyboards, vocals) and Bob Klose (guitars); Klose quit in 1965. Under Barrett's leadership, they released two charting singles and the successful debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967). Guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour joined in December 1967; Barrett left in April 1968 due to deteriorating mental health. Waters became the primary lyricist and thematic leader, devising the concepts behind the band's peak success with the albums The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977) and The Wall (1979). The musical film based on The Wall, Pink Floyd The Wall (1982), won two BAFTA Awards.
Following personal tensions, Wright left Pink Floyd in 1979, followed by Waters in 1985. Gilmour and Mason continued as Pink Floyd, rejoined later by Wright. The band produced two more albumsA Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987) and The Division Bell (1994)and toured in support of both albums before entering a long period of inactivity. In 2005, all but Barrett reunited for a one-off performance at the global awareness event Live 8. Barrett died in 2006, and Wright in 2008. The last Pink Floyd studio album, The Endless River (2014), was based on unreleased material from the Division Bell recording sessions.
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